122 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA | Directions 1910339.951054 -75.170694
Neighborhoods: Center City, Center City West
Terrible Dinner – Went to Mantra last night to celebrate my girlfriend's birthday. We ended up leaving after getting appetizers because it was so bad. Warning: the menu on Mantra's website is not what they have at the actual restaurant. We went because each dish was supposed to be paired with wine. Upon arrival we saw that they didn't have anything like that. Our waitor said they were changing management and that he didn't know much. Also, the ambiance was non-existant. The lightning was too bright and the music was loud hip-hop, not what I expected. We ordered calamari and chicken dumplings because we decided to give them a chance. After waiting 20 minutes for the food I tried the calamari only to discover it was barely cooked and tasted very mushy, possibly still raw. I alerted the waitor and he explained that it was last batch of calamari they had which seemed odd to me since it was only 6:45. At this point we decided to cut our losses and get the check. I will never come back to this place, there are far better places don't waste your time.
Worst Philadelphia Dining Experience Ever – Do not go here. My boyfriend & I dine out anywhere from 2-4x/wk and I've never had such a miserable experience at a restaurant in Philadelphia. We arrived for an early dinner on a Saturday night and was first told they had no light beer (amazing for a 6pm on a saturday night and considering they have a bar). But that wasn't the worst part - we then order their Poo Poo Platter and a noodle dish. Nearly 40 minutes after ordering, another waiter comes to our table and apologizes saying they do not have the Poo Poo platter but we can order anything else on the menu. Perplexed we noted that all the appetizers on the menu are on the Poo Poo platter. The waitor was confused and ran to the back to speak w the chef. He returned saying the Chef could not make the platter but could make all the items on the Poo Poo platter separately. Does that make any sense? Then my boyfriend asked to see the Sake menu - the waitress apologized and said "oh i'm sorry we dont have any Sake because we are becoming an italian restaurant" Alright.....
Waitstaff was confused - decor was bizarre - music was at a deafening volume. Considering all the amazing restaurants in Philadelphia this place is not worth your time or money!
Asian fusion fare makes its way to Rittenhouse Square at this modern but homey destination for feasting or chilling at the bar. – In Short
Who's not down with Vietnamese? Take it a step higher with Cambodian fare, Thai influences and Chinese elements and a dramatic but oh-so-Philadelphia backdrop of a building and you have one of the city's most unique restaurants. A friendly bar staff keeps drinks flowing up front while serious diners take their meals in the large banquets and dining room in back. A communal table up front looks out onto the bustling street.
NEVER EVER AGAIN...WORST SERVICE EVER! – Every month I plan an event for my office. Being that Mantra looks so cool with the big picture window, I checked it out three times to see if that could be a potential spot for the next event.
The service was terrible every. Single. Time.
First, the owner seems to have a preference for clientele...mainly young, white women. He barely paid me and my girlfriend any attention and seemed to be annoyed whenever we asked for anything. He was quite dismissive. We did not feel welcomed at all.
The second time I went there with a male companion. We were at the bar, having wine and conversation, when the bartender put a bowl of edamame in front of us and two other couples at the bar. We thought it was a bar snack, i.e. peanuts and pretzels. The owner rushed over after we had nibbled it and TOOK THE BOWL away, claiming the bartender made a mistake.
Finally, the third time I went there with another male companion, the owner looked at us quite disdainfully and asked us for ID. We got up and left.
I will NEVER go to this place again and as a publicist, I will certainly discourage any of my clients or my friends to frequent that restaurant. Vango next door is more personable and friendly. There are way too many places to spend your money at in Philadelphia!
Very poor food – I was a part of a large dinner party that went here, and goodness, what a waste of money. The "crispy" pot-stickers were not at all cooked correctly - nor were they cooked properly as they should be (slightly browned and crispy as the menu noted). Instead, they were dampish as if the shell of them were just placed on and someone decided not to cook them the rest of the way. Store bought sauce (or what certainly seemed like it) accompanied the meal.
The salmon was... plain. The mashed potatoes upon with the salmon sat was... plain. The desert was phenomenally uninspired.
I was deeply disappointed by this restaurant. Great SOUNDing menu. Very poor follow through.
Are you serious? – I wish I could give NO STARS! This place is horrible and I would NEVER recommend any clients, friends, strangers off the street- to ever go there! Apparently the owner made the horrific mistake of putting his spoiled arrogant son on the payroll! My friend and I went here after work for a couple of drinks. We thought we would try the mussels, well... HUGE MISTAKE. The mussels came cold and I noted to my friend that there were a bunch not opened! We mentioned to said 'bus boy' to send them back. He ran the food back upstairs, then came back with a plate and plopped it in front of us. I thought that was strange- do they have mussels on reserve, that he came back so quickly? After closer examination, I said I think he just picked out the closed ones and gave us back the original plate! My friend asked him straight out- whether or not he just picked out the closed ones. He looked us straight in the eye, smirked and said matter of factually "Well maybe". I almost wished that we got sick, because- I would have sued the college tuition out from under him and then some!! Maybe his father will teach him some work ethic and manners! We expressed our outrage to the manager and he assured us that the situation would be handled. However, I will NOT be returning. Can you image a restaurant KNOWINGLY fed you bad seafood! Be forewarned, very unprofessional and unsafe!! It's such a shame- it's a great location too. I'm counting down the days until this place closes!!
best ribs in the city, coolest bar – I have been dining at Mantra since it opened two years ago and my experience is always great. The crew is warm and friendly and the bar is the coolest of atmosphere's. I have worked in the restaurant business for over 30 years from Hawaii to Boston and while every house has its share of problems, this place accomplishes what most places only dream about. I envey the ambiance and the food is always creative and flavorful. From the steamed potstickers, to the firecracker crab cakes to the apple dumplings. I still can't get enough of their asian style ribs. I highly recommend this restaurant for a mid-week late night snack and libation.
DEMORALIZING!!! – I have one thing to say... There are FAR too many places to go in this city than to go back to this place and to be treated the way we were which was NOT good! I myself work in the industry... My boyfriend and I were running late so I made it a point to call and let them know...well all the person on the line was worried about was "How far are you? When are you going to be here? What happened?" I explained we were running a little late and now stuck in traffic, the response I got was "Fine, get here as soon as you can" following the phone being hung up in my ear. Upon arriving NO ONE was there to greet us anyway for about 5 mins. When I came in contact with someone I couldn't apologize enough... I was told it was no big deal and to relax but our server thought differently... he was very abrupt, basically nasty, and rushed us through everything... "Look I'm not trying to rush you but I have to get your order in NOW! We ordered what we were not sure on since we weren't ready...only to find there were still more people being seated...Well why is it that You can take other peoples order after us? He then hovered over us while looking at the wine list and would leave for 1 or 2 mins and come right back and just stand there and stare at us. To top things off the food was terrible... bland and cold YUCK!!! I made sure my boyfriend gave a good tip only because I'm in the industry... but guess what.... it was not worth it and I regret it now!!! After our meal and upon leaving I kept apologizing to the server , why I don't know! Only for him to tell us that it was fine we did nothing wrong.... maybe it was that hefty TIP that changed your mind... I'm sorry we were a little late but we were very good customers, very apologetic, did not cause any problems, and tipped well, but guess what... WE WILL NEVER COME BACK TO YOUR ESTABLISHMENT AGAIN!!!
spend your money elsewhere – I rarely ever have such a bad experience at a restaurant that i am compelled to take the time to write a negative review about the place, but mantra is that bad. The food is not horrible, but its also not very good. My main complaint is that the food is super over-priced and the service is terrible. The waitstaff is unresponsive and fairly incompetent. To top it off, the owner is a pig and was blatently staring at my date for half of our meal.
DANGER!!!!!! KEEP OUT!!!!! – This place is despicable! Do NOT waste your time or money! We walk in and try to be seated but no one's around so we decide to get a drink at the bar while we're waiting. But the bartender was too busy drinking and downing shots with his buddies that he didn't even notice us. We must have waited there for over 5 mins. when the host finally came so we decided to skip the drinks since we couldn't get them anyway. As she was walking us to the back we passed some larger booths in the middle of the restaurant. Since there were 4 of us we thought it would be nice to sit at one of these. We paused and tried to get the hostesses attention but she was already standing by a smaller booth just staring at us looking bored and agitated. My brother asked the host if it would be a problem if we sat at one of the larger booths. She put the menus down gave us a quick smile and waltzed off.?!!?? Does she not speak English? Do we not speak English? We decide to forget about it and enjoy the drinks and food in the smaller booth. Ohh Nooo. The drunk bartender must have thought he was still pouring shots for himself and his buddies because our drinks were strong and disgusting. Don't get me wrong we like our drinks hefty, but if we wanted all alcohol we would have ordered straight shots. Aren't u supposed to taste some mint and limejuice or something in mojitos? On to the food, portions were small, that furry critter the other reviewer mentioned must have got to our food before us, not to mention most of our food was kind of cold, bland, and all the sauces tasted alike. Our server was barely available, didn't even ask us if we wanted desert and when he asked us how everything was we all kind of looked at eachother with that (everything sucked smirk) so he kind of just smirked right along with us as if to say (U poor suckers if you only knew) and walked away! Un-Believable! This place was not worth the almost $200 bill. They should have paid us to stay there. Warning-Do Not Do It!!!!!!!
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